Senior Commissioning Editor, Fiction [JOB POSTING]

Reports to: Executive Publisher

Location: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London

Department: Children’s

Salary range: £37,000 – £40,000 per annum

Application deadline: 30th June 2021

Bonnier Books UK is looking for an experienced Senior Commissioning Editor to join their Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press children’s and YA fiction imprints. You would be a key part of the editorial team, commissioning and editing a range of titles from young fiction through to YA. 

Piccadilly Press books are fun, family-orientated stories in any genre, that capture readers’ imagination and inspire them to develop a life-long love of reading. The titles can be standalone stories or part of a series, using design and illustration that is integral to the content when appropriate. They aim to create future classics for 5 – 12 year olds. 

The content of a Hot Key book is defined by originality of voice and challenging, thought-provoking stories that resonate on a global stage. Always memorable and stimulating, these books can create new waves in any genre for teen and older readers. 

General summary

Commission and edit commercially viable books for the Fiction lists, ensuring the books are of the quality and accuracy required, and published to schedule. 

Essential job functions/responsibilities


  • Work as part of the Children’s Fiction editorial team to acquire books that support the vision and ethos of the Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press lists
  • Be aware of current successes in the children’s fiction market and use that knowledge when commissioning
  • Commission books for young fiction, middle grade, teen and YA markets, with a focus on young fiction and middle grade
  • Consider a wide range of submissions via agents or authors directly
  • Proactively reach out to and create strong relationships with authors and agents 
  • Be aware of emerging authors and artists with a view to approaching them
  • Review submissions brought by other members of the editorial team to editorial meetings
  • Play an active part within the team in new idea discussions
  • Lead pitches – if required – for hotly contested titles, working with the Design, Sales, and Marketing teams
  • Be aware of the different needs and schedules for books where and when world rights are acquired
  • Negotiate commercial terms directly with authors/agents, with support where needed from the contracts team 
  • Structurally edit acquired texts by working closely, creatively and sympathetically with the authors of the texts
  • Work closely with the Design team and/or freelance designers to brief artwork for cover and inside illustrations
  • Work closely and supportively within the small Fiction editorial team
  • Speak passionately about your books to the wider Sales, Marketing, Publicity and Rights teams, from acquisition stage and throughout the book’s publishing life
  • Editorially guide the books through the publishing process, by working with the Desk Editor, Production and Design teams to ensure that all sales material and final files are timely and accurate
  • Copyediting skills desirable
  • Writing AI copy, cover copy and sales copy as required

List and Project Management:

  • Project-manage your books in partnership with the relevant Desk Editor, Design and Production, making sure key milestones are kept to and final files are supplied on time
  • Project-manage a range of books, of appropriate number and complexity
  • As required, liaise with, negotiate fees and manage 3rd-party contributors, for example freelance designers 
  • Problem-solve and/or escalate problems in the correct manner and in good time 
  • Additional ad hoc duties related to commissioned titles, including maintaining Biblio information and writing information sheets
  • Draw up editorial P&Ls for approval by the Executive Director
  • Attend and present at regular new acquisitions meetings and sales meetings
  • Work with the wider teams to produce appropriate sales material including cover copy, marketing material and material for bookfairs